sail·​plane ˈsāl-ˌplān How to pronounce sailplane (audio)
: a glider of such design that it is able to rise in an upward air current
sailplane intransitive verb
sailplaner noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The same tendency also affects drones, with the original $1 million Predator, a simple uncrewed sailplane with a camera, morphing into the $22 million Reaper. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, 16 Feb. 2023 Keen interest centered on the performance of a Nelson Dragonfly sailplane, entered in the meet by Gus Briegleb, of Van Nuys. San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Feb. 2022 The sailplanes are all identical, made lightweight from foam, with radio controls and 6½-foot wing spans. Alan Berner, The Seattle Times, 23 Nov. 2018 The graceful sailplanes soar silently over Arizona 74 and Lake Pleasant Road. Sonja Haller, azcentral, 30 Jan. 2015 Donned in coveralls, and looking the part of fliers, the members of the first girls’ sailplane club ever organized in the United States, showed much enthusiasm., 16 Feb. 2018 Once airborne, the gliders — or sailplanes — were left to their own devices. Cade Metz, New York Times, 16 Aug. 2017 Sky Sailing San Diego takes customers into the heavens aboard sailplanes (aka gliders) high above Warner Springs, near Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Michael Benninger, Pacific San Diego Magazine, 3 July 2017 Because the air will be thin, the sailplane will risk stalling. Ryan Bell, National Geographic, 26 Aug. 2016 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sailplane.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1922, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sailplane was in 1922

Dictionary Entries Near sailplane

Cite this Entry

“Sailplane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


sail·​plane ˈsā(ə)l-ˌplān How to pronounce sailplane (audio)
: a glider designed to rise in an upward current of air

More from Merriam-Webster on sailplane

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